Specialist Experience and Skills
My specialist experience teaching students with dyslexia: I have worked with students with a large range of literacy needs including dyslexia. Often the biggest barrier is reinvigorating a love of reading after years of difficulty or drilling. This can be done with careful reading intervention work around motivational and engaging literature. With older children and teenagers striving for the reading to be functional can win them over to it too. I have used Fisher Family Trust reading interventions and resources from Lexia UK too. Alongside this I adapt all resources around font,... Read More
My specialist experience teaching students with dyslexia: I have worked with students with a large range of literacy needs including dyslexia. Often the biggest barrier is reinvigorating a love of reading after years of difficulty or drilling. This can be done with careful reading intervention work around motivational and engaging literature. With older children and teenagers striving for the reading to be functional can win them over to it too. I have used Fisher Family Trust reading interventions and resources from Lexia UK too. Alongside this I adapt all resources around font, text, background colour, support with visuals, highlighting and encourage learners to adapt their ICT workspaces to their liking to offer independence. I am experienced in supporting young people decode and code words using phonemes and I am experienced in adapting phonics needs into age appropriate formats.
My specialist experience teaching students with reading resistance: I have worked with a great number of pupils that have been chronically avoidant of reading. The approach that tends to work is pinpointing the content and themes that can be a foot in and creating exciting, wide ranging discussions that can spring from the tales. Meeting the child in their world and building from there is the foundation of motivational teaching and learning.
My skills and experience developing trusting relationships with students with SEN: I have worked really closely with many students transitioning between key stages in SEN secondary and built trust up over the years. The main thing is to be consistent and for the young person to feel heard. I am a calm and considerate teacher and I love the bonds that can form.
My skills and experience boosting confidence and self-esteem: This has been a central aspect with nearly all pupils I have worked with. Firstly, helping a child or young person establish their strengths and challenges for themselves is really important and then having an open and honest chat about it. Next, establishing simple targets together, always praising effort over ability, making sessions invigorating and fun and gently building up to more challenging application when appropriate. Equally offering some choice in the academic level to garner an attitude to learning where the child wants to challenge themselves and flex their ability a bit more. I am a proponent of directly teaching the Growth Mindset approach and if appropriate (and with parental consent) directly explaining some of the strengths and challenges that may come with certain diagnoses. With a nimble approach using these tools we can empower children and young people to find their feet and to use this growing confidence to fill any “learning gaps” or core skills that may need that extra help.
My skills and experience providing fun and engaging sessions, to boost confidence and self-esteem: I have been lucky to train with LETTA and a number of Ofsted Outstanding schools to strive for engaging lessons that motivate. I am nimble and I can bring energy to sessions and tune these according to the needs of the pupil on the particular day, embedded within a routine structure. Only through creative and experiential processes can learners take leaps.
My specialist experience teaching Maths: I love maths and aim to inspire children and young people to be won maths too. From the beauty of mathematical patterns to the real world functionality of numeracy skills there are ways of inspiring children. I am trained in maths mastery and I have taught it in 1:1 tutoring and the classroom environment from P-level to years 5 and 6 National Curriculum. I like to use a combination of games, visual and concrete reinforcement and finally problem solving and application.
My skills and experience supporting students to develop their independence: This is a central theme to everything I do within the teaching profession. Education must empower children and young people to realise their potential. I do this by developing ideas around a Growth Mindset, through genuine and sincere coaching to win the child to a sense of success. I am trained in Systematic Instruction and have spent many years working with young people to develop life skills, work skills and applied it to academic studies too. This relies on scaffolding learning and gently fading the support provided.
My skills and experience working on a 1:1 basis with children with autism: I have a strong understanding of ASD and several years specialist experience working with children and young people with autism. This includes 1:1 work in the school setting, more recently 1:1 tutoring in the home, many years as a class teacher in Ofsted Outstanding schools and phase lead teacher for secondary pupils.
My skills and experience supporting students anxiety: I have worked with a great many students with anxiety and used a range of approaches. First and foremost it is crucial to build a trusting, respectful relationship. Developing frequent check-ins to develop emotional literacy: the ability to identify one’s own emotional state, especially as alexithymia or similar difficulties are quite common in autistic individuals. From there we can learn strategies to support ourself or to seek support from others. I have practiced regulating activities such as physical exercise, yoga, deep breathing, grounding exercises and visualisation, meditation, some sensory integration techniques and talking strategies to empower adolescents with the tools they need. Coaching discussions encouraging self expression, young men talking about their feelings and advocating for a healthy lifestyle are crucial elements too. I have run art sessions with young people with ASD to encourage emotional literacy and supported a pupil following trauma. I have a solid foundation in identifying targets from the SCERTS framework in Emotional Self Regulation and Mutual Regulation. I have worked within Multi Disciplinary Teams alongside CAMHS and Adult Services Educational Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Sensory Integration OTs and Speech and Language Therapists.
My skills and experience helping students to develop motivation and engagement: I believe in learning for life and I am passionate about sharing new discoveries with young people. The key is often finding common ground of interest in subject areas and working around these to move into new topics. I always make sure sessions are well structured and follow a routine but leave room for flexibility in researching and exploring subjects and tangents. Some subjects don’t instantly attract the attention of a young person which means a little more staggered work. I am a great fan of Dweck’s Growth Mindset approach and believe it can have a great impact on learners of all ages.
My skills and experience working with children with sensory needs: I have worked with pupils with a broad range of needs and I have learnt to adapt learning to the individual. This includes using an array of communication adaptations, breaking down tasks into chunks, highly structured activities and working at the pace that suits the pupil’s needs. I can provide activities that support sensory integration and I have a strong understanding of emotional regulation development and strategies.
My skills and experience working with students with ADD/ADHD or focus and concentration challenges: I was the teacher of a teenager with ADD for three years and I developed a good relationship with him and his family. From my experience the two approaches that work best are: crystal clear boundaries and movement breaks. By building good rapport based on respect and consistency the student-teacher relationship can thrive and the pupil can feel calm and stable.If the student needs a quick break, that is OK and I will always keep my end of the bargain but we will use a timer and agree to move on afterwards. Regular exercise is the predominant evidence-based approach to support children with ADHD/ADD and is the cornerstone of a healthy life for anyone, so I supplement this general advice with structured movement breaks that offer quick bursts of physical activity.These can support processing speed, working memory, planning and problem solving.
My skills and experience teaching vocational and career skills: I am a trained practitioner of Systematic Instruction which supports both life and vocational skills learning. In my previous role I helped setup a Project SEARCH supported internship programme at Queen Marys University specialising in an ASD programme, attended training in employer engagement and won five new work experience contracts for our young people in the community. I supervised a team of three job coaches supporting young people with work experience in school and externally. I have written an employability Scheme of Work to support young people identify their preferred career goals options and I have also developed my own assessment tool for vocational skills as part of my NPQML research project. I am in the process of developing a curriculum and app for school use in tracking and developing life skills and independence. I am passionate about preparing young people for adulthood.
My skills and experience teaching functional skills: I love identifying and setting up engaging activities that offer functional and tasks for young people and to see their confidence build over time into independence. I especially enjoy cooking activities and the way young people throw themselves into such practical tasks. As well as having a range of experience in teaching Food Tech, I have written Schemes of Work to develop life skills in teenagers with ASD including skills around the home and travel training and access to the community.
My skills and experience using social media, photography and videography: I have taught a range of ICT lessons that encompass multimedia, social media platforms and photography to ASD students. I have used a broad range of simple apps for video editing with pupils. I am very creative and love to bring this into my teaching. I have an A-level in Photography and I have spent the last year training in visual design using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and After Effects.
My skills and experience producing Widgit/Symwriter and/or Boardmaker resources: I am a very confident user of Widget Online, Communicate In Print 2 & 3 and Boardmaker. I have used these to make classroom and digital visuals, interactive whiteboard games and activities, PECS symbols, Core Boards and to upload symbols onto user’s communication iPads. I also have a little experience with PECS iPad software. I have worked closely with Speech and Language Therapists and MDT teams to deliver create environments with communication opportunities for all students.